ARLINGTON, Texas — Before September, Oklahoma State football had recorded exactly three victories ever over Southeastern Conference opponents. The Cowboys beat Alabama in 2006 and Mississippi State in 1971 and 1998.
Today in the Cotton Bowl Classic, OSU has a chance to mount its second SEC trophy of the season. The Cowboys popped Georgia on Sept. 5 in Stillwater and play Ole Miss today at JerryWorld. This is a prime opportunity for OSU. Few schools get the chance for an SEC season sweep. Fewer still pull it off. "We would like to leave a legacy for the younger players,” said State senior flanker DeMarcus Conner. These Cowboys have raised the profile of OSU football. Four straight winning seasons for the first time in more than 20 years. Four straight bowl trips for the first time ever. The best Big 12 record, 6-2, and placement, second, in OSU history. All solid achievements. But victories over Georgia and Mississippi in the same season would be an equally impressive feat. Oklahoma State is one of those programs that has to claw for space on the national consciousness. The Cowboys make some noise in this part of the country from time to time, but OSU crashed the national stage in beating Georgia in that memorable season opener. Capping the season with an Ole Miss conquest would create momentous bookends to a season that would rise to special status. "We’ve done so many things for the program and changed it around in so many different ways and put us on the national stage,” senior linebacker Andre Sexton said of his class. But Sexton has a theory: "The fans still are not going to give us credit for that unless we win this game. This is the way they will perceive us. We have to come out with a win or it seems like all the changes and all we’ve done for this program was done for nothing.” Sexton’s wrong about that.